The 35-year-old labourer who was found murdered at the farmers’ protest site in Singhu last week in Delhi, allegedly for desecrating the Sikh holy book, was taken there by the Nihang Sikh who was the first to be arrested in the case, a top Punjab Police officer told The Indian Express.
The officer said Lakhbir Singh, who was found with his hand chopped and with multiple injuries, was in touch with the accused Sarabjit Singh. The Nihang Sikh reportedly frequently visited Lakhbir’s village Cheema Kalan in Punjab’s Tarn Taran.
As per a police functionary, Sarabjit had started living with his maternal uncle in Khujala village in Gurdaspur when he was five to six years of age. Sarabjit’s 75-year-old father and 70-year-old mother live in nearby Vithwan village. Sarabjit had moved to Dubai after Class 10 for four-five years. During this period, Sarabjit’s maternal uncle shifted his residence to Sukhmani colony in Batala and on his return from Dubai, he started living there. “Sarabjit got married in 2007 to a woman, but the marriage had ended in a divorce in 2017. The same year, he is said to have gone to Hazoor Sahib in Nanded, got baptised and became a Nihang,” said the functionary.
Sarabjit last visited Batala around two years ago – to attend wedding of his uncle’s son. As per the functionary, Sarabjit has a 45-year-old brother, who is “deranged” and lives in Vithwan and three sisters who are married.
Meanwhile, the Budha Dal Nihang sect led by Baba Mann Singh, in a video, distanced itself from Nihang leader Aman Singh, whose photo had appeared with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The sect said Aman Singh had formed a separate group of own, and had been warned not to use the Budha Dal name. The Budha Dal video added that they respect those who “punished” the “wicked” at Singhu border and would assist them in their legal fight.
Asked about the video, Aman Singh told The Indian Express: “ Jadon vakt painda saare saath chadd dinde (In times of trouble, a person is deserted by everyone).”
Police records show several cases against Aman Singh. As per official records, he was booked in an NDPS Act case in Mehal Kalan police station in January 2018 after police had recovered 910 kg of ganja from a truck. Initially, five persons were named in the FIR, as per Barnala CIA incharge Inspector Baljit Singh, who then served as Sub-Inspector in CIA Barnala. Baljit Singh said that names of three others, including that of Aman Singh, were added after the interrogation of the five arrested men. Aman Singh remained at large in the case before he got anticipatory bail from Punjab and Haryana High Court in October 2020. Aman Singh said over phone that he was “falsely implicated” in the case at the behest of persons who were “anti” to him.
He was also booked along with other accused in two cases at Raman Mandi police station on the complaints of a retired brigadier. Aman Singh was booked in an attempt to murder case and other offences in the case registered at Raman Mandi on May 30, 2017 and a house trespass case on October 27, 2017 at the same police station on the complaint of the retired Brigadier. In May 2017 case, he was arrested and sent to Kapurthala Central Jail on June 9, 2017 and was bailed out on August 12, 2017. In October 2017 case, he was arrested and sent to Kapurthala jail on October 17, 2017 and bailed out on November 24, 2017. In between, he also remained in Kaputhala jail from August 19, 2017 to September 15, 2017 in connection with a daily diary report case at Raman Mandi police station before being released on bail by the order of Jalandhar deputy commissioner of police.
On Thursday, police approached the retired Brigadier with a latest photo of Aman Singh for identification. The retired brigadier, who has in his possession CCTV grab of Aman Singh in the case, said that “the photos did not appear to match” and the man who attacked him “does not appear to me” as Nihang leader Aman Singh. Police, however, was learnt to have been checking the records to obtain the photo of Aman Singh at the time of his arrest. A police official said, “Aman was not in Nihang’s dress at that time.”
When asked about the case, Aman named one of the accused Sewa Singh in attempt to murder case registered at Rama Mandi and said “only he can answer why he was named in the case”.
The Punjab jails department compiled the details of Aman Singh’s jail term, after former police officer Gurmeet Singh Pinky, who was dismissed from service and convicted in a murder case, reportedly claimed that he had come in contact with Aman Singh while they were lodged in jail. Pinky later reportedly denied the claim. A purported photograph of Aman Singh with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar in which Pinky is also seen had created a political storm recently. The details compiled by jails department revealed that Pinky and Aman Singh were lodged in different jails and at different points of time and were never in a jail together.
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